The New International Encyclopædia/Cleopatra's Needles

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777819The New International Encyclopædia — Cleopatra's Needles

CLEOPATRA'S NEEDLES. The name given to two Egyptian obelisks of red syenite, which were transported from Heliopolis to Alexandria about the year B.C. 14, and remained there until 1877, when they were presented to the governments of Great Britain and the United States by the Khedive Ismail Pasha. Of the two companion monoliths, one now stands on the Thames Embankment, London, the other in Central Park, New York. The latter is 69 feet high, with a base 7 feet 7 inches in diameter, and weighs 200 tons. It is supported on four bronze crabs, reproductions from the originals preserved in the neighboring Metropolitan Museum. The obelisk bears inscriptions of Thothmes III. (about B.C. 1500) and Rameses II. See Obelisk. Consult, Gorringe, Egyptian Obelisks (New York, 1885).